San Marcos City Council voted to amend the portion of the city’s master transportation plan concerning bicycle transit Jan. 4 to include bicycle facility improvements throughout the city.
The council pulled one amendment in the plan to discuss whether two roadways should go down to one lane in each direction for car traffic instead of two lanes.
The amendment at issue included car lane reductions from four to two lanes on a portion of Craddock Avenue from RR 12 to North Bishop Street and on Sessom Drive from Holland Street to North LBJ Drive. Bicycle lanes will occupy the lost lane on each side of the street.
“One of the advantages of what we're trying to do is that we're working within our existing pavement limits. And so it's basically just striping that we're using to implement this,” said Richard Reynosa, assistant director of engineering for the city. “If we find that it's not working, it's just striping to revert it back.”
Reynosa said the city’s traffic count studies show the reduction in traffic caused by reducing lanes would be manageable with current traffic flow and patterns.
“I drive these roads. I’m really concerned about it because the way I see it, it’s not all day every day, but at certain times those roads are pretty jam packed,” Mayor Jane Hughson said.
Council Member Mark Gleason made a motion to keep all the other changes in the update to the bicycle portion of the transportation plan and to remove the changes proposed for those two streets.
“I've had a lot of residents reach out to me out there, and they're really concerned about that being down to one lane. And I understand the idea that you know, you squeeze the traffic, you slow it down. Well, there's going to continue to be growth out there, and there is a shared-use path that is granted right now. That is already there,” Gleason said.
The council voted 4-3 to keep the amended changes on each roadway, reducing driving lanes on each side of the street, with Council Members Gleason, Saul Gonzales and Shane Scott voting against the lane reduction.
Hughson asked whether the city could quickly study the lane reduction and report back any concerns with changes in traffic flow.
“When students return, we can get better data ... to evaluate the conditions,” Reynosa said.
The council voted 5-2 for the whole plan. Gonzales and Scott voted against the plan.